Bird in Hand was launched one year ago today (Here is the first blog post from August 2012 including a vintage pic of me starting kindergarten)

In honor of our anniversary I’ve given you a nickname and I hope you like it!

I love nicknames and have a few: Pink, Court, and Corina (an Españolfriendly adaptation from my Peace Corps days. Nicaraguans trying to pronounce “Courtney” ended up saying something closer to “Corny.” Trust me, you don’t want to be called “Corny” for 27 months.)

And because I live in Texas I occasionally answer to hon and sweety too.

Do you have nicknames? Or special names you call dear ones? Nicknames are playful yet they remind us of a deeper truth: that life is always changing. We are a work in progress and our mind, bodies, relationships and feelings are always changing too. Thich Nhat Hanh in a reflection on impermanence in his powerful book Going Home explains that when a person becomes more lovely, her name sounds more lovely too.

And you are lovely to me, Birder! Out there in a busy world– attuning to the quiet more than the noise, listening deeply for the song rather than stomping mindlessly through the forest of your life.

Birders are also intimate with the turning of the seasons and the migrations which follow.

September always blows through with a powerful bracing wind.

I get caught up in the back to school fever and inspired to take stock, to clean out, to regroup.

This week I tackled dusting the bookshelves in my home office, reorganizing, and selling/donating three big boxes of books I no longer need.

And the final product?



Space to breathe, think new thoughts, and a reconnection with treasures I forgot I had!

It is so important to pause and savor the pleasurable moments of life; a practice which comes naturally to our dog Francis and which I have to be reminded to do. Too frequently my gaze is only directed at what is next.

And while I have some pretty fun things coming up with Bird in Hand– like this creative family workshop (you know you want to make your own birds nest!) and a new mindful money blog series starting this fall– I also want to pause and celebrate the year.

Starting my own business has been fun, nerve-wracking, stimulating, scary, energizing and a steep learning curve especially related to marketing and the more “biz” sides of a coaching practice.

But it has also been a time of wonderful new connections, opportunities I truthfully couldn’t have imagined a year ago, and experiences which made my heart so full and happy.

Like being invited to a Courage Retreat for young leaders with Parker Palmer this spring.

Don’t we look like soulful visionaries for a rising generation?

And the chance to officiate beautiful weddings, like Scott & Sara’s on a farm in North Carolina:

(as promised, me in my blue jeans).

And wonderful Enneagram trainings in Boulder Colorado:

where I connected with new colleagues like Nancy and Denise and learned powerful mind/body tools I use myself and teach coaching clients.

And that brings me to the most beautiful part of my year:

working with people like you.

I am so honored to hold space for people as they tap into their own deeper wisdom.

And I love connecting folks to powerful tools like the Enneagram and meditation practices so they don’t have to languish in the hard spaces of self growth but can move more purposefully (and quickly) toward a life which nourishes and delights them. From the inside out! Read what some coaching clients have had to say about the process here

In my first post about back to school and other big changes I conclude: “I look at Coleman this week and I see the kaleidoscope within: one part open to this new experience and eagerly leaning into the future and another part which is nervous and self-conscious. Seeing his kaleidoscope reminds me of my own and the truth that we are always walking through life vulnerable to its hard edges and eager for its gifts. Rites of passage just remind us to take time to consciously walk through the big changes with open hearts so that in all the other small moments we can find the courage to do the same.”

And one year later that remains my hope for us all– a courageous open-hearted life.

Thank you for being a part of my world!


PS Feeling out of alignment or need support to make the changes you know you want to make? Maybe it is time to crowd out the energy-sucking patterns with new choices and practices that really honor who you are. I have three spaces opening in September for new coaching clients and I would love to talk with you! Call me at 972.571.6860 or email to set up a complementary half hour conversation.

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About Courtney

Courtney Pinkerton is the owner of Bird in Hand, a holistic life coaching practice. She completed dual Masters degrees from Harvard Divinity School and Harvard Kennedy School in 2008 and draws spiritual wisdom from the contemplative and desert traditions of the Christian faith as well as Buddhist teaching. In addition to weekly blog posts on meditation and other mind/body practices, Courtney provides one on one coaching using the Enneagram as well as custom-designed retreats and weddings. She lives with her husband and one-time Peace Corps companion, Richard Amory, in Oak Cliff where they try to keep up with their three young children and plot in the community garden. She can be reached through her website